Using a Renishaw RenAM 500 Series AM machine with refractory metals supplied by H.C. Starck Solutions, HiETA and the University of Southampton have unlocked new design thinking for satellite propulsion by enabling engineers to build fine structures and complex 3D geometries that could not be produced using traditional fabrication techniques. Through close collaboration, the team delivered an innovative new resistojet propulsion system named STAR (Super high Temperature Additively manufactured Resistojets) consisting of nested and interconnected heating elements.

Through funding from the UK Space Agency Flagship Program and with the additional collaboration from the Satellite Applications Catapult and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, the team has been able to demonstrate the potential benefits of an AM design approach for enhancing performance of a refractory metal-based resistojet propulsion system. The webinar will cover all of the challenges that the team had to overcome to successfully build refractory metal-based resistojets using AM. Topics will include the design, modeling, material selection, AM build and testing of the resistojet propulsion system.